Friday, January 14, 2011

This is the circle of trust...because I need some help y'all

So let's be honest.  I think I've shared enough with you all to go ahead and share this one more thing.  I'm sure you noticed the lack of post yesterday.  I'm stressed out y'all.  Seriously.  I think I may just be tired.  But I'm stressed. 

Why?  Well. This little guy.
I love him.  Isn't he cute?  Josh has Autism and this has been a hard week.  He's been super anxious.  And having nightmares.  And I think (I hope) I found the culprit. 

That is actually the one I found on his desk.  Josh is 7 - he's in 2nd grade.  And he's been checking Goosebumps out of the library at school.  Great.  Thanks.

See, Joshua doesn't just watch movies.  Or read books.  He plays them over and over again in his head.  He acts them out.  Sometimes to the point where he's actually "there". We had to put locks on our door (the way up high kind) because a few years ago, once he got up super early in the morning while we were asleep and was outside chasing Swiper.  In the winter.  In his pajamas.  I can't explain the feeling of going into your child's room and they aren't there.  So there's a lock.  But the point is he gets sucked in.

Another thing is that Joshua has trouble distinguishing fact from fiction.  He really thinks I have eyes in the back of my head {and I will admit I may use that to my advantage occasionally}. But you tell him something.  Chances are he believes it.  If he sees something in a movie -- it's real.  If he reads something -- you guessed it.  So I can only imagine how he thinks of this crazy looking snowman. 

But it's caused him severe anxiety at home.  He said he's been having dreams that something has happened to me.  Which means he's attached at the hip.  Which I love him.  I love spending time with him.  BUT I would also love to be able to go to the bathroom alone.  Last night I tripped over him (he's attached at the hip -- right on top of the hip} while I was in the kitchen.  And I had a pot of boiling water!  I'm scared I'm going to burn him!  He won't go to the bathroom by himself.  He's been sleeping in my bed.  And last night he had an accident - well not really an accident - he just didn't want to have to leave my side.  And it wasn't a wet one either {one day -- He's going to hate me for writing this}.  So when he crawled into my bed....yeah. 

So today I talked to the teacher.  No more Goosebumps. 

But...has anyone dealt with nightmares?  Any tips?!  HELP!

Alright.  I'm off to find the top 20.  And then a nap.  Because let me tell you.  A 7 1/2 year old sleeping in bed with you does not allow for really sleeping.  And I really wanted to fall asleep on the couch last night.  BUT I was just so worried he would wake up in the middle of the night...or before me in the morning.  And I promised. 

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  1. oh sweetie, i wish i could help you out. hang in there!

  2. first of all your little guy is just absolutely adorable :)
    when i worked with children with autism-i was a home aba therapist and also worked in a facility 1:1 with them too-we would create "lesson plans" with pretend play so they could distinguish real from fake. so you can go through a magazine, pictures, words-however your guy learns best-and maybe make a poster board or a list on real things and pretend things so that he is more comfortable. also you can try "when i get scared" techniques-come up with a plan, a routine that you can do together and then he can do by himself to see there is nothing to be afraid of and that he is a big boy and can do it all by himself, then in the morning he can "report" to you any funny business-hopes this helps out!

    best of luck!


  3. I like what Sarabeth told you.Great idea~! He is a handsome young man and he looks like a happy boy who loves you so much..
    Not much I can offer to help you out but I can pray for you and Josh..
    Have a great day..ta ta for now from Iowa.

  4. I'm sorry, that's so hard. My daughter has an over-active imagination too. Sometimes it's hard to know what will set her off. We also have to be very selective about what they read/watch because it upsets them. But I've never had to deal with it to this extent so I don't know if I have anything that will really help. Best of luck and hopefully there will be more like Sarabeth with real answers!

  5. Omigoodness! Hang in there. He seems like the sweetest kid. I love him already.

  6. My son has autism too, though he's a lot older than yours now. Social stories have always been a terrific way for us to work through tough situations. You could try writing a social story about how some things are not real and how to cope with being scared. Here's a link to the social story website which has a How-To section on writing them. Good luck to you. I know how hard it can be.

  7. Hi Amanda, My son is 8 and has autism too. He also does the thing where he replays everything he reads of sees in movies so i have found i have to be very slective about what he reads/watches. There are a lot of good suggestions here...for us we do role playing for many situations...what to do when scared...he prays ... and that seems to help...also he found a book series last year that he loves ...the BoxCar Children Mysteries...they are kinda old fashioned...but def exciting and gives him tons of creative play ideas to play with his sister...good luck!

  8. Amanda,
    My Jake is 8, also in second grade and has PDD-NOS. A few weeks ago he read a book "This book is haunted" the story a character hears voices. So Jake went to school and told the teacher he didn't finish his work because he was hearing voices.....
    The point is you are not alone and reaching out to your audience was a great idea! I love some of the suggestions that have been supplied by others. We have done social stories as well.
    My Jake also "lives" whatever he reads/watches and (although its hard sometimes) we try to monitor and limit what he watches.
    You little Josh is absolutely adorable by the way! Best wishes. Hope this coming week is better for Josh and you!

  9. my heart goes out to you and him. i am an assistant to a first grade little boy with autism and he is the same way, he will sit in class and be quietly acting out scenes from transformers.
    i know for some children (not sure if it would work the same way) but you can make things like monster spray (glitter water) so that he could feel has powers to take away the bad but that kind of defeats the purpose of reality and fiction. i would google that one. good luck!